Eleven Years

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Wow, I haven’t been here in ages! I don’t know why. The days go by. I keep busy, Writing just hasn’t been rising to the top of the list of things to do. I think about it but I don’t actually sit down and start anything.

Last week was eleven years since I arrive here to live. When I came, I never thought that far ahead. I was busy just getting settled and learning to live in my new adopted country. Everything was new, fascinating, challenging, and amazing. Now after all these years it’s just living our normal life. We’re still loving it here but it feels much more settled. I still enjoy the wildlife but there very little of “oh my! I’ve never seen that before!” We’ve gotten in a routine for daily life. I think the pandemic changed us too. We used to be out and about a lot. Then we were locked in the house for a long time and we were ok, and we got used to it. We’re still very content at home, and it takes more effort to get out of the house. We’ve also visited most places and done most things we want to do.

We’re still in the same house we started in. We were really fortunate that we got a house, neighborhood, and location that is just perfect for us. The landlord asked if we would be interested in buying the house, but we aren’t. We couldn’t get a mortgage (mortgages here have to be paid off by age 70), we don’t want the responsibility for major repairs, and when we hit the end of the road our will says the house goes back to the landlord as is, and my family doesn’t have to do anything.

What does life look like now? The band plays once a week which is enough for us these days. There’s always new music that interests us and I’ll probably never be fast at learning, so there’s daily practice. I’ve been trying to ride my bike more and get some level of endurance back in my lazy legs. We walk the dog every evening that we can. But it’s the height of rainy season at the moment and we are getting some impressive downpours! We haven’t had as much rain as expected this year though, and it’s been a problem for the canal. They’ve had to offload cargo to lighten the ships so they could make it through, which has slowed down the flow of traffic. Hopefully the rains we’ve had lately are helping. I’ve heard they are working on a long term solution, so maybe this won’t be such a big problem in the future.

I can tell I’ve been here for a while. The neighbor kids are taller than me, and they were just little kids when we arrived. Things I planted as little plants and trees have grown so much. I’ve also cut down on the things growing in the yard and causing more work. We’re older than we were so simplifying life is more of a priority. I’ve hired out the main yard work and the bigger things that need to be done around the house. I have a great driver for when I don’t want to hassle with traffic downtown, or we want a ride to the airport.

So, life is good, and it doesn’t feel like there is much to talk about. We’re good, family is doing well, friends and neighbors are fine and happy, and life is peaceful and contented. We continue to be filled with gratitude every day and wonder how we have been so fortunate!

And, to brighten your day I’ll share this this wonderful music with you. I happened to learn of another female bass player so of course I had to track her down immediately. She is Cesi, an outstanding bassist and a real sweetheart of a person. Pablo is her husband, also an outstanding bassist and guitarist, and a teacher (lucky me, I’ve had some bass classes with him!). You’ll see Jorge in the video, also a bassist and guitarist. Cesi has been writing music and doing a lot of the playing in the video, and this is the first song that has been ready to present to the public. This is really beautiful and I’m very excited to see and hear the songs that are coming.

If you are local, look for the band Dracma. Cesi is the bassist, Pablo is on guitar, Jean is an amazing drummer, and Angel is an energetic and charismatic lead singer. And, if Cesi is singing lead, you’ll see Jorge on bass. We’re lucky to have such great music right here in Chiriqui.

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